DELPHOS — “It all began with a dream in the heart of a woman named Mrs. Tillie Hershey back in 1932,” Pastor Dan Eaton said of the beginnings of the First Assembly of God Church in Delphos.
Pastor Eaton is proud to announce the celebration of 80 years of ministry at the First Assembly of God Church, located on the corner of Metbliss Avenue and Eighth Street.
The church’s history is certainly something to celebrate.
Hershey, along with a small group of her acquaintances, would join in home prayer meetings. They eventually moved their meetings into a building located at 1104 N. Washington St., where they took the name of Full Gospel Tabernacle.
In 1947, the Rev. C.L. Gruver assumed the pastorate of the church. Under his leadership, the church raised money through hard work and sacrificial giving used to purchase a new building at 808 Metbliss, where the church stands today.
In 1961, the Rev. Warren Campbell assumed the pastorate and the parsonage was constructed next to the church.
In 1971, Rev. Daryl Sharp assumed the pastorate and the congregation began working toward the creation of the multi-purpose center. The Righteous Outreach Center, or ROC, was created in order to help the church minister to the youth of the community. It’s still used today for the same purpose.
In the 1980s, the church began to have problems with overcrowding, so Rev. Terry Collier finalized plans for a new worship facility in 1985. The groundbreaking for this facility took place on March 8, 1987. The final product was a new sanctuary that seats more than 400 people.
“The new facility was and is a tribute to the Lord Jesus Christ. The theme for the building program was ‘Commitment 87.’ It took commitment on the part of the congregation to make it a reality. More than $100,000 was given by the members of the community in less than one year and many others generously donated their time by helping to build the facility. The people of the congregation made a new commitment to the Lord as well as to their community,” Eaton said about the sanctuary.
In honor of the 80th anniversary, a special worship service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday followed by a chicken BBQ at 12:30 p.m. and plenty for the youth to do.
The Delphos First Assembly of God strives to offer a place where all people can come together in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Our Church is dedicated to the proclamation of the full Gospel while working for reconciliation and unity among the Body of Christ. We are more concerned about reaching people with the love of Jesus than we are about arguing doctrine,” Eaton said.
“We are very excited because God is really making a difference in the lives of people today. We live in a fear-filled world but the church is a safe-haven. It’s like a hospital where the wounded can come and seek help. It’s a safe refuge from the world but at the same time, we also equip people to go out and change the world while they are here. We try to be a purpose-driven church that emphasizes discipleship, worship, evangelism, service and fellowship,” Eaton continued.
The First Assembly of God offers Sunday Worship at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., with the later service featuring Teen Ministry. “Discipleship for All Ages” is offered at 9:30 a.m. on Sundays and at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Children’s Bible Quiz is offered at 6 p.m. Sunday and Youth Bible Quiz is held at 7 p.m. on Mondays. As part of its outreach program, the church holds a monthly food giveaway.
Eaton and his congregation look forward to a bright future.
“Twenty-five years have passed since the dedication of the new facility and God has blessed this church in many wonderful ways,” Eaton said. “However, I’m still convinced that the greatest years for our church are yet to come.”